On that narrow street I was famous, or infamous if you hate beggars. Those whose routine route it was knew me well, and I them. When a coin from a generous hand dances its way to stillness in my bowl, I feel my hopes wake gradually to meet the expectations of my empty stomach.

Those who passed me by, givers and “ignorers”, knew my one look of distant plea. But I knew more than them. For in my saddle, I have seen eyes, more eyes than any man has ever seen. The pain that masks mascaras, the burning oasis of ambition that sits in the quick, slow and quick blink of the young and restless, the dying light that fizzles in the eyes of a woman cheated by love, the mystery that dilutes the dizzy daze of grandmothers, the simple tear that escapes the eye of babies. I have seen all these.

When I go to sleep tonight looking up at my ceiling beneath the old bridge, I will think on all these eyes, as I do always. I think to myself, certainly, there is beauty in everything, if you look well enough, there is awe in everything, if you think deep enough.

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